Joan Jett, well-known for songs like “I Love Rock and Roll” and the band Joan Jett and the Blackhearts has a special place in my heart. I was fascinated by her and all that she stood for when I as a young Oklahoma teen in the 80’s discovered the Runaways, an American all-girl rock band. I liked everything that I imagined her to stand for, fierce independence, a powerful young female force to be reckoned with, wickedly, darkly, and beautifully edgy. And if truth be told she was probably the main reason I went through an all black clothing phase and to this day still love a heavy guitar rift.
As I grew up parts of her influence have always remained deep inside. I have a pension for metal chains, dark eye makeup, and if truth be told my hair for the past few years has been very Joan Jett shag like. But I’m a grown woman now with children, and a husband, and responsibilities that limit my Joan Jettesqueness to an occasional rock and roll blaze busting out of me in the middle of my living room much to the embarrassment of my children. My dressed in all black rebellion days of the past are far behind me.
However, years ago my husband I had an opportunity to see Joan Jett in concert, an opportunity I had never had living with very strict parents in Oklahoma. My husband worked for a major travel company, and at least once a year we headed to Las Vegas together for his work and our enjoyment. One of the major perks in working within the travel industry is that occasionally you get things like free tickets to amazing shows in Las Vegas. And while we were at one of our trips to Vegas my husband announced to me that he had scored tickets to see Joan Jett, tickets that I had asked him to purchase earlier that month. I was going to finally see Joan Jett live in all of her glory.
I was beyond excited, but when we got to the window the lady who was supposed to have tickets there waiting for us apparently did not do her job, the show was sold out, and I was denied seeing Joan Jett. I was heart-broken, and really I never got over it.
Earlier this year as I was doing my training run on a trail that runs right by River Spirit Casino in Tulsa, Oklahoma I saw a giant sign that said, “Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Friday, November 18th.” I let out a yelp that about gave my running partner a heart attack. After telling her about my love affair with Joan Jett and my denied concert experience, knowing that the 18th was the day before my anniversary, I just knew the Joan Jett concert gods were looking down upon me and that this upcoming concert would be my chance to see Joan Jett live in all of her darkly hypnotic ferociousness. It would be fantastic.
I immediately called my husband and said, “For our anniversary (November 19th), Christmas, and my birthday (which follows in January) all I want is from you is to buy us tickets to see Joan Jett.”
His response? “OK.”
I reminded 2 more times in the following months to buy the tickets. He always said, “I got it.”
So a few weeks ago he said to me, “My company’s holiday party is November 18th this year. I know we had to spend our anniversary last year at the company party, and this year it is happening again, but I have not control over it. Please add it to your calendar.”
I replied, “I would love to, but that’s the night of the Joan Jett concert.”
There was a huge pause, and I looked up from my computer and saw his face.
He had not bought the tickets.
And when I went to buy the tickets myself later that day? They were sold out.
I was denied again.
Needless to say I was pretty irritated with my husband for this screw up of his. It happens a lot in married couples who have been married a long time; they become lazy. They forget to take the time to remember the one and only thing their spouses have asked for in years. They forget to take time to pay attention. They forget to take three minutes to order two tickets for one concert.
And in my anger I felt my inner Joan Jett emerging from the mist of my soccer mom trappings, busting at the seems, begging to be released and show the world her former glory as one of the “Queens of Noise.” And for a long time I thought about all of the options I could have if I would simply let her out to play.
I also thought about one more option.
It was the option to spend an exorbitant amount of money at the spa, come out feeling all mellow, and categorize this post under a pretty popular Twitter hashtag called #whitegirlproblems.
After all, there really is only one true Joan Jett. And I am not her.
“Queen of Noise” by The Runaways with a young Joan Jett
Kelly Kinkaid enjoys writing about such topics as stretching a dollar, personal finance, diet and fitness, and living a life well lived. She spends all of her spare time in her many roles including but not limited to soccer, basketball, swimmer, band, and piano mom, runner and wife. You may contact her via e-mail kellyology(at)gmail(dot)com.